The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted people’s lives in an unprecedented way. In response to this phenomenon, SMERU conducted studies to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the socio-economic conditions in Indonesia, particularly in relation to poverty and human development. SMERU also studied the effectiveness of government policies and programs in the social protection, education, health, and employment sectors during the pandemic.

SMERU completed nine (9) national and local level studies in 2020 (first period) and seven (7) studies in 2021 (second period). These studies’ results will be disseminated in a series of webinars held by Forum Kajian Pembangunan (FKP) in October 2021 under the theme “Second Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic: What Have We Learned?”. We hope that the contribution of thought and knowledge from these studies’ results may serve as a foothold for the government and stakeholders in formulating strategies to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia.

Below is the series of webinars themed on the results of SMERU’s studies on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Competing in the Labor Market: The New Labor Force and Vocational School Graduates amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Webinar FKP 2021 | 14 October 2021, 09.00–11.30 (GMT+7)

The weakening of Indonesia’s economic performance during the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a decline in the ability of the business sector to absorb the labor force. The pandemic poses a risk of extending the waiting time of the labor force, including university graduates, to find a job. Meanwhile, vocational high school graduates also face challenges to survive in the labor market. The Labor Market Information, which is mandated through the Unemployment Benefit scheme in the Job Creation Law, has become an important policy discourse to support the labor force to be absorbed into the Indonesian labor market. 

Moderator: Gracia Hadiwidjaja (Specialist, the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice, World Bank)


  1. Lia Amelia (Researcher, SMERU)
    “Job Search Duration of the New Labor Force before and during the Pandemic”
  2. Palmira Permata Bachtiar (Senior Researcher, SMERU)
    “Job Market Information for Vocational School Graduate Workers to Support the Implementation of Job Loss Insurance”


  1. Muhyiddin, S.Sos., M.Sc., MSE. (Head of the Center for Employment Policy Development, Planning and Development Agency, Ministry of Manpower)
  2. Mahatmi Parwitasari Saronto, ST, MSIE. (Director of Employment, Ministry of National Development Planning/Bappenas)


Second-Year Update: The Resilience of Vulnerable Communities and Readiness of Nutrition and Maternal and Child Health Services in Facing the COVID-19 Pandemic

Webinar FKP 2021 | 19 October 2021, 09.00–11.30 (GMT+7)

More than a year of the pandemic, public perception of the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic and the readiness of nutrition and maternal and child health services (MCH) have changed. People are starting to adapt to the pandemic situation and this affects their resilience and strategies to minimize the impact. Likewise, health service providers, including nutrition and MCH services, continue to develop innovations with various adjustments during the pandemic. The innovation readiness of the nutrition and MCH services affects the ability of mothers to use these services. The government’s policy support in increasing community resilience needs to be adjusted to the dynamics of public perceptions in line with the prolonged pandemic.


  1. Ana Rosidha Tamyis (Senior Researcher, SMERU)
    “Sociocultural Resilience of Vulnerable Communities in Dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic”
  2. Nurmala Selly Saputri (Researcher, SMERU)
    “Studying the Nutrition and MCH Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic”


  1. Ahmad Arif  (Co-leads Lapor COVID-19)
  2. dr. Nida Rohmawati, MPH (Coordinator of Maternal and Neonatal Health, Directorate of Family Health, Ministry of Health)




Reviving the Economy: The Impact of Public Activity Restrictions and the Digital Activities of MSMEs

Webinar FKP 2021 | 26 October 2021, 09.00–11.30 (GMT+7) 

Public activity restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a contraction in the economy and employment situation in Indonesia. Various efforts have been made, including digital adoption in the micro- and small-scale enterprise (MSE) sector, which absorbs a large number of workers. Is the internet helping MSEs to survive and thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic? How can the government encourage MSEs to benefit more from the digitalization by overcoming disparities in MSEs’ digital literacy and skills?


  1. Hafiz Arfyanto (Researcher, SMERU)
    “The Impact of Public Activity Restriction on the Economy and Employment at the Provincial Level in Indonesia”
  2. Veto Tyas Indrio (Researcher, SMERU)
    “Is the internet helping Micro- and Small-scale Enterprise to Survive and Thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic? Evidence from Longitudinal Data in Yogyakarta, Indonesia”



The Implementation of Social Assistance Programs during the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Urgency to Update DTKS

Webinar FKP 2021 | 29 October 2021, 09.00–11.30 (GMT+7)

The policy of distributing social assistance is the Indonesian Government's strategy to reduce the socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the poor and vulnerable. However, at the empirical level, although the social assistance programs benefit the community, their implementation during the pandemic still faces various challenges, especially regarding the accuracy of the targeting and the timeliness of the distribution. The updating of the Integrated Social Welfare Data (DTKS) is an important and relevant policy discourse to reduce the obstacles to distributing social assistance programs during and after the pandemic.


  1. Hastuti (Researcher, SMERU)
    “The Implementation of Social Assistance Program during the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Enforcement of Public Activity Restriction (PPKM) 2021”
  2. Dyan Widyaningsih (Researcher, SMERU)
    “Encouraging Continuous Integrated Social Welfare Data Update”



FKP is a consortium of institutions in Indonesia in collaboration with the Indonesia Project (Australian National University). This forum brings together researchers, academics, experts, civil society, the international community, and policy makers to discuss research results with topics relevant to the latest development policy issues in Indonesia. The FKP event is open to all stakeholders in the government, policy makers, academics, donor agencies, non-governmental organizations, practitioners, experts on development issues, and the private sector.

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Editor and Translator
SMERU's blog posts reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the organization or its funders.
Head of Communications Section
SMERU's blog posts reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the organization or its funders.